Secretary of State John Kerry listens to questions during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, March 12, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)
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Top Russian and US diplomats utterly failed Friday to defuse the crisis over Ukraine, ending up at loggerheads following tense talks over the worst East-West clash since the Cold War.Despite flying in early Friday from Washington for crisis talks only two days before Crimea is to decide whether to split away from Ukraine, Kerry acknowledged that his mad dash to London had been in vain.Washington was urging Moscow to join a contact group to sit down with Ukraine's interim leaders, pull back thousands of troops in the Crimea to their barracks and allow international monitors to deploy to protect Russian-speaking peoples.But it would appear that all the ideas they brought for Crimea were rebuffed out of hand by Lavrov.Kerry warned that if the referendum goes ahead as planned on Sunday then sanctions will ensue.
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